The body of laws that instructs the functions of the state’s criminal justice system is often referred to as its public policy. These established policies are created via the laws set forth by state and federal government. Established laws that are to be adhered to by the entire nation are done so through the federal government, while the state government establishes those laws that only the citizens located within the jurisdiction(s) of the state(s) must follow.
The established polices outline the laws of the criminal justice system in there totality and are used the guidelines for sentencing or punishment that a criminal offender may receive. Upon a policy being enacted by the federal government, as a requirement, the states are then to also enact a similar law but this not a requirement for the federal government when a state government enacts a policy.
For example; the federal government enacts mandatory laws in reference to firearms restrictions, then the state(s) are required to follow suit by establishing similar laws or restriction, on the other hand, while some states have enacted laws that govern the use of medical marijuana, the federal government has not and is not required to adhere or follow suit with there own laws of this type. Though the federal government’s power is restricted within state jurisdiction, if the importance of policy affects the nation, then the federal government’s authority will supersede the authority of the state.
Policies, whether federal or state government established, must proceed through the same set of steps to become a recognized law. The first step of this process is the identification of a specified problem, this will decide the need for the policy, and this may be done by researching high profile or necessary problems by means of the public thus forcing the governments to act more swiftly in finding a solution.
In the case of the policy being a federal issue, it is routed for consideration through a subcommittee for prior to being passed to the House of Representatives for approval as well as necessary revisions, it then will go before the Senate to be voted upon. If the law is approved by the Senate, then the last step is the passage for Presidential approval, then it becomes a law. The state has steps similar in statute but instead of the president, it goes to the governor of the state.
Once a policy becomes a law, it then gets administered to the agency that the new law affects within the criminal justice system. When a new policy is enacted by a state government, it must adhere to any parallel federal policy therefore it is not allowed to infringe or contradict any federal policy. For example; medical marijuana laws are not federal policy therefore they do not directly violate laws enacted by the federal government; therefore these have not been federally struck down.
On the other hand, if federal law is violated by a person possessing and selling medical marijuana, they are subject to prosecution on a federal level (Myers, 2009). On the same note, if a state law imposes or violates a federal law, the federal government may see it fit to bring the issue in front of the Supreme Court who will then determine the constitutionality of the law. Once a federal policy becomes law, it follows the same steps to be enacted and/or administered as the newly imposed law, the differences are, the state will also need to develop a policy to parallel there version of the law.
An example of this is the required data base system that is used to track sexual offenders and predators within there communities, it is known as Megan’s Law (Zgoba, 2008). Upon Megan’s Law being enacted, all the states in the union were then required to establish a database system for sexual predators; these are then administered to the states criminal justice system. Whether federal or state, when a law becomes enacted and is administered through the criminal justice system, the law is reviewed by the Supreme Court upon appeal of a criminal offender.
For example; Cases involving the Three Strikes Laws, these laws have become standard policy for over half the states in the nation, however most of the cases involving these laws have been appealed to the Supreme Court for the potential of a constitutionality issue and possible violations of the rights of the accused, also the Megan’s law has also been appealed to the Supreme Court on several occasions for the purpose of its constitutionality and the possibility of the violation of the right to privacy of the offender.
In cases that appeals are upheld, and the Supreme Court determines the new policy is unconstitutional, they may order it stricken from the laws of both the federal and state governments. Both, the federal and the state criminal justice processes are similar upon a policy becoming a law. Upon a law being passed and infracted upon, and a criminal suspect is identified and detained for the, a criminal investigation will ensue.
A criminal investigation will be initiated in order to explain, in detail, enough articulable evidence for the identification, detainment, and the arrest of the suspect. A prosecutor will examine the evidence and determine if the suspect can be taken to trial, arraignment, or grand jury for the decision to seek an indictment on the criminal charges. In both court processes, once a criminal suspect’s being indicted on the criminal charges with a crime, the criminal defendant will be arraigned, this is the informing of the criminal charges and the opportunity for a set bond.
In criminal court processes, the prosecuting body, be it state or federal, is burdened with the proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, on the other hand, the defendant is forded the right to representation by an attorney as well as the case heard by a jury. If discovered to be guilty, the defendant will be sentenced by a judge. Once the criminal defendant is sentenced, they become part of the criminal justice system via the correctional system of either the state or federal level.
A policy that is enacted within the criminal justice system is a solution to a present, foreseen, or potential problem within society. Both, federal and state policies that affect the public are enacted through the same process. State enact polices that govern there citizens located within the jurisdictional confines of the states. The federal government creates and implements policies that affect the nation, upon this occurrence, the state must follow up with laws that are parallel with the federal guidelines. References Meyer, J. , & Glover, S. (2009, March 19).
Medical marijuana dispensaries will no longer be prosecuted, U. S. attorney general says. Los Angeles Times http://articles. latimes. com/2009/mar/19/local/me-medpot19 Zimring, Franklin E. ; Hawkins, Gordon; Kamin, Sam (2001). Punishment and Democracy: Three Strikes and You’re Out in California. New York: Oxford University Press Zgoba, K. , Ph. D. ; Witt, P. , Ph. D. ; Dalessandro, M. , M. S. W. ; & Veysey, B. , Ph. D. : U. S. Department of Justice. , (2008). Megan’s law: Assessing the practical and monetary efficacy (225370) https://www. ncjrs. gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/225370. pdf.